Chapter 2: Excuses

Ritz Advertisement wasn’t a traditional advertisement agency, it believed in training and developing youth in the field of advertisement by handing over extremely important clients to them as projects. This trust made the young professionals learn fast but also gave a lot of headaches to the upper echelons because they had to take if there was any mess.

Mr. Parker is the creative director of the agency was accustomed to this pressure and always took it in his stride. His days began at 6 am, as he had to be at the office at 8 am no excuses. Living so far away meant that some of his sleep was to be compromised, but at the age of 36, he wasn’t close to being burned out. One thing he knew about himself was that his stamina didn’t have any bounds, no matter how tiring the last day had been he would wake up a new man the next morning. He was a man with a routine, an advertisement wasn’t his passion, it was the job that paid him the most, and he had made a name for himself in Manhattan. He knew that it’s not easy to come up with creative ideas on a whim but his reputation preceded him and there were times where clients just had to stuff his ideas down their throats because they won’t be getting anything better in the city.

It was 10 am, and Mr. Parker sat in his lavishly big office room. He was smoking a lucky strike cigarette and had his feet on the desk. He had told his secretary Joan to not take any calls till 11. Today wasn’t a special day for him; he had a meeting with the creative department, the art department, and media.  Just to check some ideas they had regarding an airline account. Life could be much better than this. Smoking cigarettes weren’t something he loved to do either, he knew he wasn’t addicted to them, but there was something about them that made it just a habit. He was sure if he could tap into the habit he could sell millions if not billions of cigarettes to the world out there. That’s what he loved about himself, he could look past even his own bullshit, he had the ability to see things for what they really were, and at the same time he knew that people don’t look at things like that, for people reputation is what matters. He had seen that happen when one of his interns pitched his idea, and it got flatly rejected by the whole table.

He had his demons too, on the surface of it he knew he was a decent and smart man, but there were reasons for which he just hated himself. Laura’s mother died in childbirth, her name was Jessica, and she was the love of his life. He met her in college, she was two years his junior, and he fell in love with her in his last semester. That meant that for two years till she could graduate their relationship was long distance as the college was in Boston, while he lived in New York City at the time.  The love they had for each other transcended the distance and the moment Jessica graduated he asked her to marry him. Love is a funny word, and Parker wouldn’t have fallen into it with anyone else but her. She was just something wholesome, and he couldn’t ignore it. For him, it was so hard to see the love of his life die in his arms while giving birth to someone so beautiful. He loved his daughter, but her birth was the death of someone he had dreamed of living every day with.

Had he let that be the reason why he never gave his daughter all the love that he could? The thought sent chills down his back. Was he really the kind of person who would ruin a relationship with his own child on the basis of an event that child had nothing to do with. His thoughts weren’t in his control, and it made him disgusted with himself because all he was doing was convoluting memories to explain his actions somehow. The truth was that he just didn’t know how to create that bond with a child. He loved her with whatever heart he had left; his actions were all premised on making his daughter’s life better. He wanted to make money so that he could give her a good education so that he could give her the luxury of traveling, things that he never had access to and his peers did. Parker couldn’t let Laura feel the slightest bit of envy of worldly things, and that had somehow translated into her feeling left out of her father’s life. She craved his attention and his love, but he just couldn’t express it to her in the ways that she wanted it to be expressed in.

Its 11 am now; Parker lets out a heavy breath, his mind had been doing the exact opposite of what he had trained it to do. It was making excuses for not being a good dad. No more. He had to act on it now. Otherwise, it would just be a regret.

“Mr. Parker, your 11 am meeting is scheduled, should I let them in?”  Joan speaks conventionally in the intercom.

“Ah, yes let them in.”

“Mr. Parker sir should we have the meeting here or in the conference room?”

“Just tell me the pitch and the artwork, you guys know how to do the rest, let’s make this quick.”

Just like that, another day commenced, and it was all to be business as usual.

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